How many times have you found yourself focusing on a negative experience? In contrast, how often do you notice when things work exactly as they should? Designing a website, even a simple one that takes users where they want to go, isn’t as easy as it looks from the finished page. If you’re not completely confident in your web design blog skills, you could end up with a homepage that’s functional but ugly, or something that looks nice but is impossible to navigate. Unless you’re a tech or design wizard, you should get an expert opinion and maybe employ an agency’s web design services to ensure that your business is putting its best face forward on the internet.
We’ve gathered a few examples of websites that leave a little something to be desired. (That doesn’t mean that the businesses they represent are horrible; we just think that they could use a little updating!)
The Daily Skimm is an emailed newsletter geared towards millennial women who want to be better informed about current events. With 7 million users subscribed to its morning news roundup and an in-depth app that integrates pop culture events into your personal calendar, we’d expect a sleek, functional website. Sadly, that’s not we got when we visited the main page.
In terms of graphic design, the website does blend well with the newsletter that spawned it–both are characterized by clean pages and a bold teal accent color. You can even read that day’s newsletter directly on the website if you can’t access your email. While this is a nice feature, we’re a little confused by the inoperable sign-up button in the middle of the homepage, as well as a few more broken buttons directly below it. For a company dedicated to expanding and thriving through its user base, we’d love to see more attention put into testing and maintaining the site’s functionality and responsiveness.
Suzanne Collins Books
Suzanne Collins, author of the popular “Hunger Games” trilogy, has been called out for her poorly designed website for years. We applaud her for not letting anyone tell a bestselling author what to do, but we wish she had hired a digital marketing agency to ensure that her site lives up to her name.
Truthfully, the homepage has everything an author website needs to succeed: a personal greeting, selected quotes on her novels, information on her most popular series, and links to her biography, works, and an interview. But the site looks outdated and clunky, more like an old-school blog than a professional source of information. If your browser window is fitted to your computer screen, you’ll see images floating in a lot of white space alongside a tiny sidebar crammed with quotes from selected reviews. Scrolling down only gives you longer professional comments on Collins’ various works, so we’re not sure what the point of presenting the reviews in two different ways might be. Another issue is the “Quick Links” sidebar section, which offers links to Scholastic, NPR, Barnes & Noble, and the like–but none link to the author’s books! This is an easy way to direct web traffic towards popular or even less-popular novels that Collins wants to sell, and we hate to see her missing out on that.
Yale School of Art
We’re not sure whether this one is the product of art, madness, or just poor website design. Yale School of Art’s site has made several “worst website” lists over the years, and it’s still going strong. While we have the utmost respect for the artistic process, we just can’t get over the sheer panic that we feel when that background tile design loads. On top of the unnerving background, the actual text (including the sidebar!) only takes up the left half of the page. Is this to give us an unobstructed view of whatever tiled design the students have seen fit to decorate the page with today? It’s unclear.
The interesting thing about this page (and, perhaps, the reason for its quirkiness) is that the whole thing is a module-based wiki. In other words, anyone with access–such as faculty, students, and alumni–can edit the site or add new content and pages. That seems like a recipe for disaster, but we’d accept it as artistic expression if only someone was actually reviewing these pages before changes go into effect. This is where a Copywriter would come in handy–to correct the grammatical errors and incomplete sentences that inevitably result from countless people editing a website with no continuity.
We love the idea of Tumblr. A microblogging site that lets you post almost any type of media, customize your own blog with hundreds of unique themes, and connect with thousands of other users and communities? Sign us up (that’s a joke; some of us have had accounts since the eighth grade)!
But things aren’t as peachy as they seem over on this social platform. A recent ban on content deemed “inappropriate” has resulted in an algorithm that routinely flags irrelevant posts. And some users aren’t sticking around to wait for the notoriously unresponsive Tumblr staff to correct the issue; many are choosing to transfer their online presence to platforms like Twitter. But nothing quite fills the niche for endlessly customized content feeds quite like Tumblr does, so we really hope their designers and developers are taking a close look at the results of their update!
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